March 3, 2014 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Uproar after arrest of trans woman in D.C.
Ruby Corado, Casa Ruby, gay news, Washington Blade, arrest

Ruby Corado said hostile D.C. police officers traumatized a group of young transgender and gay passengers in her SUV over the weekend. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Local LGBT activists on Facebook were in an uproar over the weekend when transgender advocate Ruby Corado posted a message claiming hostile D.C. police officers traumatized a group of young transgender and gay passengers in her SUV on Feb. 28 when they handcuffed and arrested a transgender woman for driving the vehicle without a valid license.

“I sat in my car as a passenger as we are driving my clients home after a support group when a police officer stopped us and in three minutes I witness a D.C. police officer turn into a very homo-transphobic cop,” Corado wrote in her Facebook posting.

Activists commenting on the incident noted it took place less than a week after Police Chief Cathy Lanier released a report conducted by an independent task force that found shortcomings in the department’s dealings with the transgender community.

Sgt. Matthew Mahl, supervisor of the department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, told the Blade he looked into the matter after speaking with Corado and reading her Facebook comments. Mahl said that aside from one of the officers referring to the arrested woman by an incorrect pronoun and gender in a police report, he could not immediately identify any improper action by the officers on the scene.

“Anyone involved is welcome to file a formal complaint, which would enable us to look into this further,” he said.

Corado told the Blade she asked Patrice Williams, 51, a volunteer at Casa Ruby, the LGBT community center that Corado heads, to help her drive home three trans women and two young gay men who attended a support group meeting there last Friday night.

Saying she was too tired to drive, Corado said Williams, with Corado sitting in the front passenger seat, was driving north along the 5200 block of 13th Street, N.W. when a police car flashed its lights, prompting Williams to pull over and stop the vehicle.

Officer Ramon I. Moe states in a police report that he conducted a “traffic stop” after observing that two people were sitting in the vehicle’s cargo area “not occupying a seat without a seatbelt restraint.” He stated in the report that he requested an I.D. check for Williams by radio to the Fourth District dispatcher and discovered that Williams did not have a valid driver’s license.

“Suspect 1 [Williams] was placed under arrest for No Permit and transported to the Fourth District Station for processing,” Moe wrote in the report.

According to Corado, the transporting of Williams to the police station came after an ordeal in which the arresting officer and at least one other officer spoke to both Williams and Corado in a hostile manner. She said as many as three or four police cars arrived on the scene.

“I understand that they were going to arrest her for not having a license,” Corado told the Blade. “But my concern is the way they treated her.”

Corado and Williams, who also spoke with the Blade, said the officer’s attitude appeared to change after he saw that Williams’ identification document identified her as a male. Mahl said a more detailed police report not available to the public says Williams handed the officer her auto insurance card rather than a driver’s license.

“When the officer stopped us, I told him it was my car,” said Corado. “I said I am so sorry. I’m the director of an agency and I made the decision to seat the people in the back. I said we just got out of a meeting and it was freezing outside and I wanted to give my clients a ride home rather than have them wait for a bus.”

In her Facebook posting, Corado said, “Looking at his facial expressions, listening to his demanding voice, watching his intimidating body language as he questions and quickly arrests my black trans sister make my advocate persona come out and start questioning why my black sister is being arrested.”

Williams told the Blade the officer asked her if she was white. She said that when she told him she’s black, he appeared to be surprised.

She said she was sitting in the vehicle talking to the male officer who first approached her.

“All of a sudden hands grabbed me, the door swung open and a female officer pulled me out of the car,” Williams said. “They threw me up against the back of the car” and searched her, she said.

“It was verbal abuse and it was physical abuse,” she said of the officers’ conduct toward her.

Corado said the officers’ action and demeanor toward her and Williams caused a lot of stress for the three transgender women and the two gay men as they sat in the vehicle watching.

One of the passengers, Claudia Martinez, told the Blade she suffered an anxiety attack and Corado took her to the Washington Hospital Center for treatment after Corado drove the others home on the night of the incident.

“It just got to me,” Martinez said. “We were in the car for an hour or more.”

Added Corado: “Maybe I caused some of the hostility. I said I have people in the car who are very vulnerable. We were coming from a support group session. Could you be a little nicer?”

That’s when at least of one the officers appeared to become even more hostile toward her, she said.

She said it was then that she called Mahl of the GLLU and asked him to send a GLLU officer to the scene. Mahl said he immediately contacted GLLU Officer Juanita Foreman and asked her to respond to the scene. He said Foreman called him about 15 minutes later to confirm she had arrived on the scene, but she told him she did not see Corado and assumed that Corado left the scene.

Corado told the Blade she didn’t leave the scene until after police drove Williams to the Fourth District station. She said she assumes that Foreman missed seeing her and talked to Williams.

“If she talked to Kaprice, that’s good,” said Corado. “She didn’t need to talk to me.”

Corado and several of the dozens of people who added comments to her Facebook posting expressed concern that the officer stopped the vehicle as part of a “profiling” policy that singles out transgender women for special scrutiny.

Matt Mahl, GLLU, Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, gay news, Washington Blade

Sgt. Matthew Mahl (center). (Washington Blade photo by Damien Salas)

Mahl, however, noted that the SUV was stopped about 10:10 p.m. on a dark street and he doubts the officer could have determined the gender of the passengers before getting out of his squad car and walking up to the SUV to question the driver.

When asked about the officer’s description of Williams as a “male” on the police report, Mahl said doing that violated a police department general order that requires officers to ask transgender people or anyone whose gender may not be obvious which gender they prefer to be identified as.

“The order says we must ask the person what is your preferred gender and preferred name,” Mahl said. “They did put down ‘Kaprice’ as an aka,” he said. “We are always required to report the legal name of a person being arrested.”

Mahl said he would suggest that police officials treat this mistake as a “teachable moment” to make sure the officers involved in the arrest know about the general order for dealing with transgender citizens.

The police report identifies Williams by her birth name of Howard Williams.

Mahl said a longstanding police policy gives motorists a 90-day grace period after their driver’s license expires in which no penalty is given if they are stopped for a driving infraction. He said Williams had not had a valid, current license for more than a year.

“She was not treated any different than anyone else,” he said, whose license elapsed for more than 90 days.

Court records show that Williams was arrested in August 2013 on an identical charge of driving with “no permit.” The records show that case is still pending and Williams is scheduled to return to court for a status hearing on April 8.

She told the Blade on Monday that she currently has a valid learner’s permit and is in the process of arranging for a road test needed to obtain a new license. She said she meant to show the learner’s permit to the arresting officer during the incident last Friday but, while nervous and reaching into her purse, pulled out her insurance card instead.

Court records also show that Williams successfully applied for and was granted a legal change of her name to Kaprice Williams on July 2, 2013. She said she’s hopeful that the legal name change will protect her from future situations where her identity is questioned.

Corado said LGBT activists plan to raise the issue of police handling of Williams’ Feb. 28 arrest at a news conference being planned later this month to discuss a report released last week that assessed D.C. police handling of anti-LGBT hate crimes and the police relations with the LGBT community.

The report, prepared at the request of Police Chief Cathy Lanier by an independent task force, offers recommendations for improving LGBT-police relations and ways to improve police response to hate crimes.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

30 Comments
  • Ms. Corado, you are a pathetic excuse for an advocate. Accept responsibility for causing this. Quit all the drama. The cops did nothing wrong for arresting someone driving without a valid license, twice. Quit portraying the transgender community as always being victims. You’re embarrassing us!

  • These incidents of biased, police harassment of trans, gay and lesbian citizens have happened OVER and OVER and OVER again for the past SEVEN YEARS. And there is an obvious reason for that.

    It is MPD’s own chiefs who have encourage that anti-LGBT police bias OVER and OVER and OVER again– through their own homophobic and transphobic policies, practices and procedures.

    Simply put, the LGBT communities and LGBT visitors to DC can no longer trust MPD’s homophobic and transphobic leadership– which has also become politicized, petty and tyrannical in its management.

    Our chiefs are now very accomplished at telling Council and citizens what they want to hear. But they have a long record now of doing exactly as they please, once the ‘oversight’ or PR TV lights are turned off.

    When rank and file cops see a Chief of Police unethically reward homophobic politicians with MPD Awards designed to honor (OMG!!) police officers’ service, then those lower ranking officers understand what is really expected of them by MPD’s chiefs.

    When rank and file cops see a Police Chief publicly deride and use negative innuendo and stereotypes against gay victims of violent hate crimes, transgender civil rights leaders and activists and participants in LGBT events– then those lower ranking officers know what is really expected of them.

    And it doesn’t matter a whit whether those MPD officers are straight or LGBT.

    In a P.D. whose leadership has no regular and independent checks and balances against is own biases and malfeasance, the jobs, household income and entire careers of those lower-ranking cops are the ‘carrots’ that control police behavior on the streets– irrespective of what their police chiefs say for public consumption.

    SLD and GLLU are wholly and tightly controlled by MPD’s anti-LGBT leadership. So the notion that low-ranking LGBT cops will ignore the endemic homophobic and transphobic tacit wishes of MPD’s chiefs and their district commanders is both naive and dangerous to LGBT public safety.

    Police Departments simply don’t work that way. And it is way beyond naive to expect any MPD foxes to safely protect DC citizens’ and visitors’ chicken coop.

    Fortunately, DC already has an INDEPENDENT DC Office of Police Complaints (OPC). OPC is already handling TWO THIRDS of complaints against MPD, including many police bias cases. Council needs to strengthen OPC and add a sexual assaults/ stalking/ LGBT unit to OPC’s staff to handle these now-regular incidents of MPD police bias.

    **Given MPD’s ongoing record of anti-LGBT harassment, *ALL* MPD-related anti-LGBT police bias complaints should first be filed with OPC– then with GLLU.**

    Note well, people– MPD’s current police chiefs are the very same biased, anti-LGBT police chiefs our ethically-challenged Vincent Gray reappointed and paid off with enormous pay raises three years ago.

    So DC LGBT residents are also beset by a SYSTEMIC failure of its mayor and city council to effectively bring the anti-LGBT police bias and that of MPD’s police management to an end.

    Some of us are old enough to recall when a closet queen placed his own *CULT OF PERSONALITY* ahead of ethical and honest law enforcement at the FBI. Presidents, Senators and Congressmen trembled when that FBI tyrant threatened them politically. Only after he died, did Congress have the wisdom to forever TERM LIMIT the equivalent office of our nation’s highest Police Chief.

    DC COUNCIL should promptly do the same, as a matter of transparent, ethical, responsible, and responsive law enforcement.

    No DC Police Chief should serve beyond EIGHT YEARS. And given the unethical police cronyism and politicization of the force by our current MPD chiefs, that TERM LIMIT should apply to any total combination of years as Asst. Chief or higher.

  • MORE MPD-HQ FAKE-A-ROOS…

    ‘Anonymous’ is probably a MPD shill. Public Relations shills, by both MPD employees and ‘recruited’ civilians, have been encouraged at Lanier’s MPD– and especially on MPD’s highly manipulated and (taxpayer-supported) listservs. It’s all part of enhancing a police chief’s political cult-of-personality, donchyaknow.

    MPD’s SLU (aka, SLD) listserv designed for LGBT and other minorities is a phony MPD PR operation, too.

    Anyone notice how the SLU listserv is NOT interactive like MPD’s 7 district listservs (i.e., wide neighborhood level listservs)?

    That was probably done to fool Council. MPD-HQ can imply that its SLU listserv is comparable to its 7 district listservs and is responsive to LGBTs and other minorities– but its SLU listserv is really just a one-way communications from MPD, now having almost nothing to do with hate crimes news and Special Liaison Units policing.

    • “Anonymous” is me, and I am a transgender woman. Let me explain something to you. An advocate is supposed to be a role model. Advocates’ are not riding around in vehicles with drivers without licenses in the nation’s capital. Advocates don’t ask people without a license to drive others. Advocate’s don’t rally their troops to bail them out for their lawbreaking behavior. Advocate’s take responsibility for their actions and apologize for the shame they have brought on the community by putting us in the media for negative or criminal behavior. That’s the biggest problem in the transgender community. We have to stop telling everyone that we are victims in every single thing that happens, because we’re not. Stop teaching transgender children that they are victims. Doing so just give the wrong advocates a job. Fire them! Again, I am a transgender woman. I am a military retiree. I am not a victim! And I’m tired of all this media drama.

  • So much pointless drama. She broke the law and she was arrested. Just because the officer mistook her gender may be poor manners, but it’s still a criminal violation. If you aren’t breaking the law and a cop is rude, that’s possibly discrimination. These circumstances are not discrimination so quit playing the LGBT-card!

  • Pathetic are the people in power at MPD that have been told for the past seven years that Homo-Transphobia is a big problem with MPD Officers and have done nothing about, even thought Human Rights reports show time and time again that it exists.
    Pathetic are the people that witness Homo-Transphobia often and with out knowing my record on this issue criticize me for taking action. THAT IS PATHETIC

    As a humanist I made it my life mission for the past 15 years to advocate for the well being of the most vulnerable in the LGBT community, not just transgender, I am so committed to my mission that I opened a multicultural LGBT center with my own money, I work 6 days a week usually 80-90 hours with out a salary so I can lead by example & because I am committed to see my community healed, empowered and thriving as the result of my volunteer work.
    As an advocate of the most vulnerable I have told their stories of disparity, discrimination, oppression, homophobia and trans phobia year after year.
    What I witnessed Friday was simply homo-trans phobia at its best, I know how good officers can interact when dealing with lgb & Trans people. I trained many of them for years, I witnessed many of them doing their job well,
    I even praised many of them publicly for their good work.
    The reason why I decided to bring this story public is because even after 7 years of making the MPD department aware of this issue, it is still happening. And it happens everyday but No one speaks about it, it happens and it’s hurting Lgbt people as it gets ignored. 3 days before this incident a very important report requested by the chief cited what I have been talking about for years.
    Last but not least, I was one of the many people involved in writing the policy that guides officers while dealing with transgender interactions, I know the policy and the chief agreed to adopt it in her department. These officers didn’t follow it one bit and it is time that they do their jobs professionally and begin treating Lgbt people with respect and dignity arrest or no arrest.
    That is all I want and until it doesn’t happen, I and other advocates will continue advocating and speaking for those that are too wounded to speak for themselves.
    When I see something wrong , I say something that’s what people expect from me, that’s why they follow & support my work and I am not going to stop doing so all of a suddenly this has been part of my life mission for the past 15 years.

    Love
    Ruby Corado

  • I agree with Rob. Not wearing seat belts and driving without a license is going to get you pulled over… And arguing with police officers who are trying to do their job is never a smart thing to do regardless of your sexual orientation, gender or race.

  • Why did this reporter choose to publish Ms. Williams' birth name? Was that information necessary for the article?

  • Why did this reporter choose to publish Ms. Williams' birth name? Was that information necessary for the article?

  • Actually, many of us have read an account of far more egregious MPD actions in this case, which, if true, raise entirely different questions– including but not limited to, biased policing/ profiling and police anti-LGBT harassment and violation of civil rights under color of authority.

    Said account reports that the SUV stopped by MPD was followed by a MPD patrol car all the way from Casa Ruby– some TWO MILES distance from the ultimate stop. Four MPD patrol cars and seven officers were ultimately reportedly on the scene of the stop. The term “faggot” was reportedly overheard from a number of police huddled and consulting with one another after the driver was cuffed and not given a Miranda warning.

    IMHO, this case bears serious investigation by OPC. Given MPD’s pathetic and ongoing record of anti-LGBT bias at all levels, MPD should no longer be trusted to investigate such cases by itself.

  • The incident which occurred on February 28th appears to be nothing more than a traffic violation for which MPD response was strictly due diligence. Police have issued warnings that seat belts must be worn by passengers at all times, and passengers sitting in a cargo area of a mini-van would have been just cause for a stop. At the time of such a stop, I believe it highly unlikely that it was motivated by "biased, police harassment of trans, gay and lesbian citizens", or any other cause than compliance with District motor vehicle regulations.

    I have been less concerned about the stop, and the purported uproar over LGBT targeting and discrimination, than by the fact that an expired drivers license and operating a motor vehicle without a permit would result in an actual arrest, rather than just the issue of a citation. I am all too aware that race is a factor in the disparity of arrests made in the District. (see http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/study-cites-racial-disparities-in-dc-arrests/2013/07/11/02a46260-ea18-11e2-8f22-de4bd2a2bd39_story.html) I can only speculate just how standard arrest or detention for this violation would be for a lightly complected individual in a similar circumstance. Somehow, I believe a summons would have been sufficient. M.P.D., however, refutes my presumption, stating that detainment occurs by mandatory procedure if a license has expired by greater than 90 days. It is my understanding that Ms. Williams license has been expired for years, and was exacerbated by the fact that Ms. Williams had previously received a summons for the same offense. The Blade article stated that she was to appear in court for an August violation of the same offense this upcoming April.

    The usage of terms like "faggots" or the subsequent mis-gendering of a transgender individual would be a violation of District law and M.P.D. General Order 501.2. Any violation should be reported to the Office of Human Rights as a Human Rights Violation, and also investigated by the M.P.D. as a failure to observe procedure. If the allegation is sufficiently proven, official reprimand and the appropriate sanctions should be implemented. Ms. Corado had her camera at the time of the incident. Perhaps she will provide us with a video of the abuse to confirm the allegations. Unfortunately, the photographs she has provided are clear enough to display the badges, but not clear enough to substantiate a claim of tape covering the I.D. numbers. The initial investigation performed by the G.L.L.U. has failed to substantiate any of the claims. The supported fact that a business card was submitted at the time of the incident at least partially supports these findings.

    The Blade article refers to a learner's permit. A spokesman for the M.P.D. stated that a subsequent search of D.M.V. records refutes this allegation, and added that had the permit been presented, Ms. William's would never have been cited, and that the licensed driver would have been issued the seat belt citations. As the operator, Ms. William's was unfortunately also cited for the two individuals failing to wear seat belts. It is my understanding that Ms. Corado was aware that Ms. William's license had expired, but still asked her to drive her vehicle. As the owner of the vehicle being operated unlawfully, Ms. Corado could technically be held responsible for all of those offenses. Fortunately for Ruby, she was not cited and was at home warm in her bed while Ms. William's was detained at the police station until 4:30am.

    It is only proper and correct that outrage is expressed if the police, or any entity, exhibit bias or bigotry in the performance of their duty. Do the facts support these allegations? At this point, I am not convinced. In my opinion, District agencies have greatly progressed in the last few years. As an ordinary citizen – who happens to be a transgender female – I enjoy instant access to high ranking Officer's serving in the M.P.D. to voice my concerns and complaints. They always take the time to listen, and address my concerns. This is not an attitude that secretly supports bigotry or discrimination. As an individual, I believe and I am willing to acknowledge that there has been a significant progress. I also believe that as a community, we need to applaud good will and effort to the same extent that we denounce injustice. The facts are not in. Let's wait for them before we pronounce judgment.

    • Thank you Jeri for sharing your insights – you definitely make it easier to try to understand this situation. It is unfortunate that people don’t have the patience to step back and look at situations without drama and emotion. Perhaps things would work out better for all involved. Thanks again.

  • The incident which occurred on February 28th appears to be nothing more than a traffic violation for which MPD response was strictly due diligence. Police have issued warnings that seat belts must be worn by passengers at all times, and passengers sitting in a cargo area of a mini-van would have been just cause for a stop. At the time of such a stop, I believe it highly unlikely that it was motivated by “biased, police harassment of trans, gay and lesbian citizens”, or any other cause than compliance with District motor vehicle regulations.

    I have been less concerned about the stop, and the purported uproar over LGBT targeting and discrimination, than by the fact that an expired drivers license and operating a motor vehicle without a permit would result in an actual arrest, rather than just the issue of a citation. I am all too aware that race is a factor in the disparity of arrests made in the District. (see http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/study-cites-racial-disparities-in-dc-arrests/2013/07/11/02a46260-ea18-11e2-8f22-de4bd2a2bd39_story.html) I can only speculate just how standard arrest or detention for this violation would be for a lightly complected individual in a similar circumstance. Somehow, I believe a summons would have been sufficient. M.P.D., however, refutes my presumption, stating that detainment occurs by mandatory procedure if a license has expired by greater than 90 days. It is my understanding that Ms. Williams license has been expired for years, and was exacerbated by the fact that Ms. Williams had previously received a summons for the same offense. The Blade article stated that she was to appear in court for an August violation of the same offense this upcoming April.

    The usage of terms like “faggots” or the subsequent mis-gendering of a transgender individual would be a violation of District law and M.P.D. General Order 501.2. Any violation should be reported to the Office of Human Rights as a Human Rights Violation, and also investigated by the M.P.D. as a failure to observe procedure. If the allegation is sufficiently proven, official reprimand and the appropriate sanctions should be implemented. Ms. Corado had her camera at the time of the incident. Perhaps she will provide us with a video of the abuse to confirm the allegations. Unfortunately, the photographs she has provided are clear enough to display the badges, but not clear enough to substantiate a claim of tape covering the I.D. numbers. The initial investigation performed by the G.L.L.U. has failed to substantiate any of the claims. The supported fact that a business card was submitted at the time of the incident at least partially supports these findings.

    The Blade article refers to a learner’s permit. A spokesman for the M.P.D. stated that a subsequent search of D.M.V. records refutes this allegation, and added that had the permit been presented, Ms. William’s would never have been cited, and that the licensed driver would have been issued the seat belt citations. As the operator, Ms. William’s was unfortunately also cited for the two individuals failing to wear seat belts. It is my understanding that Ms. Corado was aware that Ms. William’s license had expired, but still asked her to drive her vehicle. As the owner of the vehicle being operated unlawfully, Ms. Corado could technically be held responsible for all of those offenses. Fortunately for Ruby, she was not cited and was at home warm in her bed while Ms. William’s was detained at the police station until 4:30am.

    It is only proper and correct that outrage is expressed if the police, or any entity, exhibit bias or bigotry in the performance of their duty. Do the facts support these allegations? At this point, I am not convinced. In my opinion, District agencies have greatly progressed in the last few years. As an ordinary citizen – who happens to be a transgender female – I enjoy instant access to high ranking Officer’s serving in the M.P.D. to voice my concerns and complaints. They always take the time to listen, and address my concerns. This is not an attitude that secretly supports bigotry or discrimination. As an individual, I believe and I am willing to acknowledge that there has been a significant progress. I also believe that as a community, we need to applaud good will and effort to the same extent that we denounce injustice. The facts are not in. Let’s wait for them before we pronounce judgment.

  • **********
    As an ordinary citizen – who happens to be a transgender female – I enjoy instant access to high ranking Officer’s serving in the M.P.D. to voice my concerns and complaints. They always take the time to listen, and address my concerns. This is not an attitude that secretly supports bigotry or discrimination. –Jeri
    **********

    “Move along. There’s no police homophobia/ transphobia to see here.”

    Jeri’s anecdotal personal accounts are irrelevant to the facts and circumstances of this case, as well as the many reports of anti-LGBT MPD police bias that preceded it– FOR SEVERAL YEARS.

    Trying to paint a happy face on MPD’s ongoing incidents of homophobia and transphobia so as to defend an unethical Vince Gray’s poor record of public safety (both MPD and Fire/EMS) doesn’t serve anyone’s public safety.

    That is especially so for LGBTs, since Vince Gray’s secret police also refuses to provide an ONLINE LOOKUP of elementary information about anti-LGBT hate crimes and their status– so that victims and their friends can at least know whether their attackers are still on the loose.

    That is institutional HOMOPHOBIA and TRANSPHOBIA by Gray’s MPD that continues to RE-victimize LGBT victims of hate crimes every damn day!

    None of Jeri Hughes’ anecdotal happy talk UN-covers those MPD crime coverups for LGBT hate crimes victims.

    Moreover, in this case, as the allegations of police malfeasance and police bias are serious, Jeri should also be advising that complaints be filed with DC’s INDEPENDENT Office of Police Complaints (OPC)– as GLLU’s Sgt. Matt Mahl has correctly suggested.

    However, I would not at all trust MPD’s Internal Affairs to handle such complaints of police bias and/or malfeasance without getting the police complaint on record with OPC *FIRST*.

    Vince Gray’s MPD can no longer be fully trusted by LGBT complainants. Period.

    I find it particularly disturbing, if true, that a MPD patrol car followed the subject SUV from Casa Ruby for some two miles before stopping it. The obvious question that would raise….
    Was that SUV and its transgender and gay occupants targeted by said MPD patrol waiting outside Casa Ruby from the start?

  • Brian, please get your facts straight and kindly stop attaching political innuendo and intrigue to my statements. I made no reference to the Mayor or the M.P.D. chief in my response to this article. I made some observations- based on fact – and requested that judgment be withheld until all the facts were known. I am fine with ANY agency including the OPC investigating this incident, but surely you cannot object to filing a complaint with the Office of Human Rights? Or having an investigation performed by the GLLU? The more the better in my opinion. Get to the truth, by all means.

    During the Fenty administration, access to Chief Lanier and other M.P.D. officials was extremely limited. Ask Ruby. I was with her when the General Order for the M.P.D. was discussed and negotiated. We fought for language to make it stronger – but we were not permitted to sit at the table while the language was finalized. Likewise, efforts for reform at the D.O.C. (Department of Corrections), the transgender community was treated more as a nuisance than as a contributor. Our access and active participation to high ranking officials within District government agencies has RADICALLY IMPROVED during the Gray administration. This is a FACT which cannot be denied by ANYONE who participated in the struggle prior to his administration. Our complaints and concerns receive real and actual response. You might describe that as a happy face. I know it to simply be true. So. A police car travelled in the same direction as Ruby’s on Georgia Avenue prior to her vehicle being pulled over. Was that car waiting outside to follow them? Perhaps this will spark an international incident and allow Obama to declare war on Russia. Or not. Your innuendo, sir, is not only offensive but ridiculous. Gray’s MPD, indeed. Get a grip.

    and just the by and by…I don’t know whom I am addressing…perhaps you prefer to remain anonymous as you espouse your spurious nonsense? come out, come out, whomever you are!

  • The legal system in this country and the bias of police in general to the trans community is victimizing the trans community. I heard the woman advocating the best she could for the situation, being stopped and harassed by the cops is bad enough, why are some of you trying to victimize her also by calling her names??? I know first hand by friends who are on police forces a crossed the country that if you are in the good old boys club, you are given respect, if not let go, if given a good enough reason. We will never be seen as who we currently are if the legal system doesn't let go of the past life, that needs to change, It appears that his woman did have a learners permit but because of her fear an/or PTSD, which many of us have, she could not communicate the facts to the police officer,he just saw that she was arrested before for no license and went on that, if he had looked in the records, he would have found her permit information or was appropriate as a protector of the community, treated her with respect, she may have come out if it enough to show him her learners permit. As for the reporter,shame on them, they should have never published her born name,much to do in the community. Attacking one and other that got to stop. When someone is victimization that is what they are at that time and moment, a victim.

  • The legal system in this country and the bias of police in general to the trans community is victimizing the trans community. I heard the woman advocating the best she could for the situation, being stopped and harassed by the cops is bad enough, why are some of you trying to victimize her also by calling her names??? I know first hand by friends who are on police forces a crossed the country that if you are in the good old boys club, you are given respect, if not let go, if given a good enough reason. We will never be seen as who we currently are if the legal system doesn't let go of the past life, that needs to change, It appears that his woman did have a learners permit but because of her fear an/or PTSD, which many of us have, she could not communicate the facts to the police officer,he just saw that she was arrested before for no license and went on that, if he had looked in the records, he would have found her permit information or was appropriate as a protector of the community, treated her with respect, she may have come out if it enough to show him her learners permit. As for the reporter,shame on them, they should have never published her born name,much to do in the community. Attacking one and other that got to stop. When someone is victimization that is what they are at that time and moment, a victim.

  • The legal system in this country and the bias of police in general to the trans community is victimizing the trans community. I heard the woman advocating the best she could for the situation, being stopped and harassed by the cops is bad enough, why are some of you trying to victimize her also by calling her names??? I know first hand by friends who are on police forces a crossed the country that if you are in the good old boys club, you are given respect, if not let go, if given a good enough reason. We will never be seen as who we currently are if the legal system doesn't let go of the past life, that needs to change, It appears that his woman did have a learners permit but because of her fear an/or PTSD, which many of us have, she could not communicate the facts to the police officer,he just saw that she was arrested before for no license and went on that, if he had looked in the records, he would have found her permit information or was appropriate as a protector of the community, treated her with respect, she may have come out if it enough to show him her learners permit. As for the reporter,shame on them, they should have never published her born name,much to do in the community. Attacking one and other that got to stop. When someone is victimization that is what they are at that time and moment, a victim.

  • The legal system in this country and the bias of police in general to the trans community is victimizing the trans community. I heard the woman advocating the best she could for the situation, being stopped and harassed by the cops is bad enough, why are some of you trying to victimize her also by calling her names??? I know first hand by friends who are on police forces a crossed the country that if you are in the good old boys club, you are given respect, if not let go, if given a good enough reason. We will never be seen as who we currently are if the legal system doesn't let go of the past life, that needs to change, It appears that his woman did have a learners permit but because of her fear an/or PTSD, which many of us have, she could not communicate the facts to the police officer,he just saw that she was arrested before for no license and went on that, if he had looked in the records, he would have found her permit information or was appropriate as a protector of the community, treated her with respect, she may have come out if it enough to show him her learners permit. As for the reporter,shame on them, they should have never published her born name,much to do in the community. Attacking one and other that got to stop. When someone is victimization that is what they are at that time and moment, a victim.

  • The legal system in this country and the bias of police in general to the trans community is victimizing the trans community. I heard the woman advocating the best she could for the situation, being stopped and harassed by the cops is bad enough, why are some of you trying to victimize her also by calling her names??? I know first hand by friends who are on police forces a crossed the country that if you are in the good old boys club, you are given respect, if not let go, if given a good enough reason. We will never be seen as who we currently are if the legal system doesn't let go of the past life, that needs to change, It appears that his woman did have a learners permit but because of her fear an/or PTSD, which many of us have, she could not communicate the facts to the police officer,he just saw that she was arrested before for no license and went on that, if he had looked in the records, he would have found her permit information or was appropriate as a protector of the community, treated her with respect, she may have come out if it enough to show him her learners permit. As for the reporter,shame on them, they should have never published her born name,much to do in the community. Attacking one and other that got to stop. When someone is victimization that is what they are at that time and moment, a victim.

  • **********
    the transgender community was treated more as a nuisance than as a contributor. Our access and active participation to high ranking officials within District government agencies has RADICALLY IMPROVED during the Gray administration. This is a FACT which cannot be denied by ANYONE who participated in the struggle prior to his administration.
    **********
    Thanks, Jeri. But I think you miss the larger point somewhat. Real progress in LGBT civil rights is not purely about ‘access’. Access is a means to a greater end you know.

    IMHO, first and foremost, saving peoples lives and stopping horrifically violent, anti-LGBT hate crimes against *ALL* LGBTs has to take precedence over mere ‘access’.

    I don’t disagree with the fact of the improvements for trans people you cite under Vince Gray. He’s not a complete ogre. I voted for him, too. But I’ve come to understand and see what a huge mistake that was– and polls suggest Vince Gray has lost the support of many thousands of others, too. And it’s not just his criminal, ‘shadow campaign’ in 2010.

    Look, you, Jeri, ARE, understandably, focused on YOUR particular patch of transgender rights, inclusion and ACCESS– and Gray’s fairly narrow focus and accomplishments on that. That’s great for you! And that’s great for many in the trans community, no doubt. However, your voice is not the only voice of unmet needs in the trans community. Nor for unmet public safety needs in the much larger LGB communities.

    Moreover, I am saying Vince Gray could have done much, much more for *ALL* LGBT victims of hate crimes, anti-LGBT violence and MPD anti-LGBT police bias.

    Gray’s police chief has been anti-LGBT from the start of her tenure under Fenty. She wanted to kill GLLU in 2007, and she’s well on her way to doing it again seven years later. MPD anti-LGBT bias hasn’t changed but for providing a bit more “access” at MPD’s ‘suggestion box’.

    Big whoop!

    The chiefs and Gray are delighted to have you at the table to vent and talk yourself out. But in case you hadn’t noticed, they’re not taking many of the suggestions that really matter to LGBT public safety and stopping anti-LGBT police bias.

    WTF does ‘access’ matter when the same MPD lies are being told, year after year? The same anti-LGBT police harassments are happening year after year. The same same anti-LGBT murders and/or aggravated assaults are happening year after year.

    Neither you nor anyone one of us can answer the elementary hate crime case questions I put to you earlier…
    ***How many and which hate crimes cases have been closed with an arrest?***

    Why? Because Vince Gray’s MPD is covering up information about hate crimes on its watch. Indeed, crime coverups have become Gray’s and his police chiefs’ stock in trade..

    They’re covering up the status of hate crimes cases– hiding them from victims (and their friends and neighborhoods where the crimes occurred) all of whom deserve to know whether cases are solved or remain unsolved. The deserve to know so they can act to protect themselves and their loved ones– or simply to rest easier because a perpetrator was caught.

    And Gray’s MPD is just lying and/or misleading the public about their other crime stats, too. DC is now the FIFTH most dangerous city in America. That’s from FBI crime stats, and an apples to apples comparison.

    Fact is, in your zeal to support a dishonest mayor’s re-election, you’re ignoring a lot of Gray’s pathetic record on LGBT public safety, Jeri.

    Regarding last Friday night, we need more than your not-credible speculations, Jeri. We need to know why that MPD care tailed the SUV with transgender and gay occupants for TWO MILES from Casa Ruby to 13th and Kennedy. We should to know why every occupant of the SUV was forced to get out and apparently was intimidated by MPD swarm tactics– using FOUR MPD patrol cars. OPC should be approached first to investigate.

    GLLU couldn’t respond quickly to that apparent, inexplicable excessive treatment of trans and gay passengers– likely because Gray’s MPD has largely dismantled GLLU’s core unit. Let’s be grateful the Blade was doing that thing they do last month…
    http://www.washingtonblade.com/2014/02/12/police-gay-liaison-unit-transferred-patrol-duty/

    And, BTW, why did Gray/Lanier withhold news of Sgt. Matt Mahl’s elevation to sole GLLU Sergeant for *3 MONTHS plus*? Were they hoping no one would notice their secretive dismantling of GLLU’s core unit to street patrols? Was GLOV the fly in that ointment for asking about Lanier’s dubious Hate Crimes Task Force recommendations?

    Would we have heard anything at all of GLLU’s reassignment to patrol duties– or even of Lanier’s report had GLOV not asked the question?

    When was Cathy Lanier going to announce Matt Mahl’s elevation? Only after the chiefs all but demolished GLLU’s core unit? Only after Lanier bestowed awards meant for police officers and private citizens to homophobic politicians in her own home Ward 5?

    Vince Gray has corrupted our police department with ant-LGBT biased politics. He and his police chief should be fired for that unethical conduct alone.

  • Why did the paper need to post her pre-transition name? Why was this on here?

  • I’m sorry but the police officer was doing his job and he has to put down the legal name, which ever name is on the given ID. And this woman was taken out of the car and patted down by a female officer, if th officers were discriminating against trans people and not respecting the fact that the driver was a woman they would of had a male officer pat her down. The officers handled this in a reasonable way and better than most would have. I am FTM and I have been arrested before, I have had officers try to take my shirt of to ‘clarify’ things. Thatt isn’t ok but I never got in an uproar cause the officer legally had to use my legal name in the police report, its nothis job to question my name or gender. In fact I bet people would be crying discrimination and hate crime if the officer assumed the driver was trans and she wasnt. The driver could of been a cross dresser or going to a party, the officer doesnt know and its not his job to get into your gender or sexual orientation. His job is to protect the community and he pulled over an SUV that had visible passengers in the cargo space without safetu belts. What if he didnt stop the vehicle and you got into an accident and people were seriously hurt or worse? The officer would still be getting blamed for not protecting the citizens of the community. We as a trans communiity really need to pick our battles. In fact this is why I dont even want tobe a partt of the trans community is cause of the accusations and bull shit. We have a bigger battle to fight here than picking on police officers for doing their job. Take responsibilty for your actions, the driver didnt have a vaild license, someone let her drive without checking that, there was more passengers in the vehicle than seats and safety belts,.

  • Brian, you just aren’t for real. You have no idea what you are talking about. If you did, I would know you. YOU are just another “anonymous shill” stirring up innuendo and taking cheap shots at good people. I wish you would let me know who you support; you would lose them votes. aside from that, you don’t serve any purpose. you don’t have the courage or authenticity to provide your full name – you really aren’t worthy of a response. Coward.

  • So you reduce these issues to ad hominems and base name-calling.

    Whatever happened last Friday night in 4D, that doesn’t help past and future victims of hate crimes and police bias at all. And it is really disappointing coming from you, Jeri. Be well.

  • Brian, all of your attacks are ad hominem and personal. Directed at individuals I respect. And you make these attacks anonymously, without taking responsibility for your own words. Your actions define cowardice.

  • Dominique Storni

    “Anyone involved is welcome to file a formal complaint, which would enable us to look into this further,” he said.

    How about filing a group complaint in the form of a class action lawsuit?

    Tosser cops!

  • the artist formerly known as brian

    TRUSTING OUR ON AGAIN/ OFF AGAIN GLLU

    Dominique, are you talking about a civil class action suit? Not a bad idea.

    But it would still be a safer bet to file a complaint or complaints with OPC– DC’s independent Office of Police Complaints *FIRST*. We just can’t fully trust MPD’s GLLU and SLD anymore.

    As they have been for many years, Gray’s PCOPs (Police Chiefs of Politics) have been jerking GLLU around again. PCOP didn’t bother to tell us until last week that Mahl was made full-time Sergeant of GLLU — LAST NOVEMBER, as the Blade reported last month.

    It also took the Blade’s reporting to tell us that just last month the PCOPs pulled GLLU’s core unit onto patrol duty way over yonder in 6D and 7D. So Sergeant Mahl may be commanding a mostly inactive, phantom GLLU unit.

    It seems all for show just to get Gray past the election. But there is this from today’s WaPo (and it’s no lie, either, Jeri).
    ;)
    WASHINGTON POST/
    6 MARCH…
    Jeffrey E. Thompson in plea talks with prosecutors about Mayor Gray’s alleged D.C. shadow campaign
    —-
    For nearly three years, federal prosecutors have been methodically building a case against Thompson, who is identified by associates as secretly financing a more than $650,000 off-the-books “shadow campaign” on Gray’s behalf. Seven people connected to Thompson or affiliated with Gray’s 2010 campaign have pleaded guilty in federal court in the past two years and have outlined Thompson’s alleged efforts to subvert local and federal campaign finance laws.

  • Dominique, the circumstances involved would not meet the legal requirements for a class action law suit. The requirements are stringent.

    If ANY SINGLE INDIVIDUAL can cite examples of systemic discrimination or a violation of the DC Human Rights Act by a District Agency such as the MPD, they may file a Director’s Complaint with the Office of Human Rights. I did this myself, and the investigation resulted in ACTUAL CHANGES in policy and procedure at the Department of Corrections. (BRIAN, it was necessary to supply my name and contact information, so that would count you out)

    Any single act of discriminatory conduct should be reported to the Office of Human Rights as a simple complaint. This can be accomplished online. I am attaching a link to the website.

    http://ohr.dc.gov/complaint

    ANY act of police misconduct should be submitted to the OPC. (office of Police Complaints) I am attaching a link to the website explaining the process.

    http://policecomplaints.dc.gov/service/file-a-complaint

    Whatever the circumstances, a successful complaint needs to be submitted with detail and supporting facts and information. References to news articles and innuendo will not provide you with credibility. These investigations are made on the taxpayer’s dime. Frivolous complaints detract from the entire communities credibility – you don’t want to “cry wolf”.

    Please reply to this thread if you require any more information…I will assist you as much as I can. Be well…. Jeri

  • ***************
    ANY act of police misconduct should be submitted to the OPC. (Office of Police Complaints) I am attaching a link to the website explaining the process.

    http://policecomplaints.dc.gov/service/file-a-complaint

    –Jeri
    ***************

    Dominique, other than Jeri’s attempts to silence her criminally corrupt candidate’s critics with uncivil assaults on their personal privacy rights– I don’t disagree with any of her advice in response to your message.

    OPC is now *THE* independent office to file complaints against police misconduct.

    MPD’s institutionally homophobic and transphobic police chiefs can no longer be trusted. Nor should MPD’s SLD and GLLU, over which Lanier and Groomes maintain VERY tight control.

    IMO, the kinds of police actions, police swarming tactics and threatened use of lethal violence used against Ruby Corado and the trans and gay occupants of her vehicle raise very serious questions of intentional anti-LGBT police harassment– even violation of civil rights under color of authority. That incident warrants serious investigation by OPC, IMHO.

    Remember, Mayor Gray’s POLICE chief unethically bestowed MPD policing awards to anti-LGBT POLITICAL cronies in Ward 5– all DC PUBLIC OFFICIALS– just a few weeks ago. Those awards were used to send a tacit signal of encouragement of anti-LGBT bias throughout MPD’s sworn officer corps.

    Make no mistake. Police officers in any police department watch their top leaders for signs of “extra” command expectations for their police conduct. Chief Lanier should be fired for what she did– or at least publicly reprimanded if orders to show unethical anti-LGBT police favoritism came from our suspiciously criminal mayor.

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